General Motors rejects Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Software is playing an increasingly important role in modern cars. Cooperation between smartphone and vehicle is also becoming increasingly important. Accordingly, many car manufacturers are increasingly relying on Android Auto, Apple CarPlay or both. General Motors (GM), however, apparently does not want to be a part of this and has now announced that it will not use the software solutions from Google or Apple for its electric cars. Instead, the company wants to implement its own software. Will this bold plan work?
GM rejects Apple and Google
Competition in the automotive market is currently raging hotter than ever. After all, not only is every manufacturer willing to place its own models on the market as attractively as possible. On top of that, decisions of great consequence have to be made. With the ongoing triumph of electromobility, we are at a crucial point that will reveal both losers and winners. All the more exciting, then, are the sometimes completely different approaches being taken by well-known automotive companies. Just a few days ago, we reported that VW has promised future vehicles support for Android Auto for at least 15 years. While the traditional German company is relying on software from Google, General Motors is doing things completely differently. The US company does not want to offer either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay in its vehicles.
However, this does not mean that the displays of the electric cars of well-known brands like Chevrolet or Cadillac will remain completely empty. Instead, the car company wants to develop a software solution on its own without further ado. This is to be tailored to the company’s own vehicles. The company hopes this will create a close link between the vehicle hardware and the corresponding software. In particular, the focus is to be on efficiency, which is so important for electric cars. That makes perfect sense. After all, things like range calculation or eco-mode can work best when software and vehicle technology are closely linked. That General Motors wants to counter the growing global trend of cars as “software on wheels” is also made clear by a statement from the group. For example, a spokeswoman told The Verge “the vehicle can know more than a phone.”
Does the plan really work?
It’s definitely a big gamble the U.S. company is taking here. After all, it is not without reason that the software solutions from Apple and Google enjoy such great popularity. Smartphones are becoming increasingly important and are considered a daily companion for many people. Especially when driving, very few people want to be able to quickly find their smartphone on the car’s display. The system is as simple as it is ingenious, and thus makes much more sense than the numerous solutions that have been developed by car manufacturers over the years. But there is also a decisive disadvantage. The infotainment system merely acts as a mirror of the smartphone. There is no close link to vehicle components, as General Motors now wants to create. Nevertheless, experts are certain that the close link between infotainment and smartphone is more important for a large proportion of users.
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The big disadvantage of Android Auto and Apple Car Play
It may be necessary to work out an interim solution in perspective. After all, General Motors is right when it elaborates on the advantages of having its own software in electric cars. Especially on long-distance journeys, route calculation plays a major role in the field of e-cars. The software solutions may be capable of this, but the whole thing is not really meaningful in the end. After all, the ranges are always based on optimum conditions. At sub-zero temperatures and in strong winds, the actual range differs significantly. It is therefore all the more important that parameters such as ambient temperature and tire pressure can be included in the calculation. However, the manufacturers are still very cagey about the “data octopuses.
The fear that the collected data could be used as a basis for Google’s and Apple’s own cars is probably too great. Rumors about such plans have persisted for years. Accordingly, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have not yet been able to access important vehicle data. However, it is questionable how long well-known manufacturers will be able to withstand the pressure. After all, it can already be observed that brands are increasingly using Android as the basis for their own software. At the same time, the software’s possibilities are becoming more and more diverse. For example, Apple has already presented a version of its car software that can even display the instrument cluster behind the steering wheel.
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